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7 oDesk Tips for Freelancers

oDesk TipsThese oDesk tips will help freelancers get the oDesk jobs that they want. oDesk is a marketplace that brings freelancers and employers together. This is a way to bring workers and employers together so they can negotiate and work on a project. oDesk is just a medium for the interaction of the two parties and provides some safeguard mechanisms to facilitate the process smoothly but ultimately it is between the contractor (freelancer) and business owner (employer) to decide the terms of their work arrangement.

oDesk is a great way to start a freelancing career for anyone. It is completely free to join (there are no premium memberships, like at other freelancing sites like Elance or Guru) and has a flat rate of 10% fee for all payments made at oDesk, which is actually not too bad, at least for beginners. It is a really great way for someone to make money online by using his skills.

However, it is not easy to get the dream assignments at oDesk unless you follow these oDesk tips. This is because you will be competing against several candidates from across the globe. Some of them will have superior skill and experience while others might have a cost advantage compared to your bid. Therefore it is important to know and understand the best oDesk tips which will help you land your coveted job. There are regular tips on cover letters that you follow, but this post is written exclusively for oDesk cover letters.

oDesk Tip-1: Complete Your Profile

This is a very important part of your oDesk work experience which is often neglected by beginners. oDesk profiles are fairly comprehensive. You need to enter a lot of information regarding your previous experience, your skill sets, work portfolio, work samples, etc. It is very important that you take the time and effort to fill these out in a detailed manner. Potential employers do look at your complete profile, so it is important to appear professional.

Also remember never to bluff your way into a job – always be truthful about your skills. For example, oDesk asks you to assess your English skills. If you enter a 5, you better be good because it is not hard for an employer to make it out if you are anything less.

Another important aspect of the oDesk profile is including a portrait of yourself. This shows employers that you are genuine and serious about the work and are here on oDesk for the long term to make it as a freelancer.

A final tip is to make sure that your oDesk profile shows 100% complete by the time you are done. This way you can keep track of the essential elements like portfolio, resume, portrait, etc.

oDesk Tip-2: Make a Compelling Tagline

oDesk gives you an option to sell yourself in one line using a tagline. Use this wisely. When an employer looks at your profile, the first thing he sees is this tagline beside your name. It should be compelling and should showcase your strengths in that particular area. Don’t make it very generic, like “Excellent writer for hire”. Instead, make it very specific to your needs, like “Published author with 10 years of creative writing experience” or “Experienced copywriter with a Masters in English” or something that is right for you.

oDesk Tip-3: Take oDesk Skills Tests

Many employers want the best people and taking the oDesk skills tests not only shows that you are good but also shows that you are serious. Personally, I have taken and passed 14 tests related to writing, 9 of which show a Top 10% badge against the score. This is a good thing to have in your profile page.

Taking the oDesk skills tests is especially important for beginners who do not have a lot of work history and feedback. By passing these tests with flying colors, you are showing that even though you haven’t worked long at oDesk, you are serious about making a commitment to your freelancing career.

oDesk Tip-4: Never Bid Below What You are Worth

This is a common mistake made by people who are desperate to get their first job. They try to lower their rate to much below what they are worth. There are many job postings at oDesk aimed at people like these but this is not the right approach towards any freelancing career. Sure, as you gain in feedback and reputation within the community, you can demand higher prices but that doesn’t mean you under-sell yourself to write articles at $1/hour.

In the long run, you are always better off working on projects that are worth your time and effort and those are the employers you really want to be working with in the long term. You may have to prepare an additional 10-20 job applications but don’t sell yourself short. Follow all the other oDesk tips here and even without the feedback and experience, you can demand good wages.

oDesk Tip-5: Read the Complete Job Description

Different jobs have different requirements and it is very important to read the full job description before you decide to apply for it. Of late, many employers ask the freelancers to include a certain word or phrase in their cover letter, just to make sure they have read the full posting. I personally don’t like this a lot but many employers stand by this tactic to weed out the applicants. If you fail to mention that word or phrase, they will not even read your entire cover letter and you are simply rejected.

Also, reading the complete job description helps you prepare the right cover letter which is very important and discussed next.

oDesk Tip 6: Write Customized Cover Letters

As with traditional jobs, a cover letter can make or break the application. It is very important that you read and understand the full job description and know what skills are required. If you think you are suitable for the job, apply with a customized cover letter. The employer should see that you have read the full posting. Mention a point or two that he has written in the job opening description. Show your previous experience as relevant to what the job demands.

It is very common, especially for people new to oDesk, to simply make a general cover letter and post it for every job posting. This is a completely unprofessional and wrong way of approaching a freelancing job or career. Customized cover letters show you are genuinely interested in the job. And make no mistake, it is very easy to spot a general cover letter which is written for every post in the category and not specifically for the job at hand.

oDesk Tip-7: Maintain a Good, Long Term Relationship

This is a tip for the long term, which is very important. Today, I hardly look for new assignments at oDesk because I work with my previous clients with whom I have worked for long. Really long. It should be the same in your case as well. Once an assignment is completed, if you go over and beyond what was initially expected, not only will you get a great feedback but you will also get the future assignments.

Starting out on a freelancing career can be challenging but if you follow these oDesk tips and be serious about committing to freelancing, you can live off it and make a great career. You will find a lot of success stories at oDesk where contractors have successfully quit their day job and now work full time, freelancing at oDesk.

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Internet Marketing Foundation: Trading Eyeballs for Money

Internet MarketingWhen you want to enter into internet marketing, people have many different kinds of ideas. Some view it as a get rich scheme which it isn’t. Some think it is way too technical which is again false. Internet marketing isn’t hard to understand if you look at its natural evolution. To truly understand internet marketing, you should first look at any marketing effort in general. What does any marketing aim to do? Simple, it aims to get the attention of people.

Thus the foundation of internet marketing is still the same: getting as many eyeballs as possible.

A Case in Point – Television Ads

Let us look at a sample case of television ads to really understand internet marketing better. Why are companies willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for advertising spots during the SuperBowl of Soccer Finals? It is because they get so many eyeballs – i.e. they get millions of viewers. The particular sporting event is able to give the advertisers millions of viewers which is worth tons of money.

So How is it Different on the Internet?

On the internet, the only difference is that instead of just sending in eyeballs, you usually trade visitors for money. This might sound crass but that’s the truth. What does any advertisement aim to do, on the internet? It aims to get clicks. Publishers are paid when visitors click on the ads or convert. This means as a publisher, you have a visitor to your site whom you are now sending to another site. You are still giving the advertiser the eyeballs but this time you lose a visitor. No wonder then that the cost of a visitor click is higher in this case than a simple television ad.

Taking this step further is the concept of CPA or affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you trade visitors for a possibility of conversion. Thus, as a publisher you are taking a higher risk – certainly, not everyone who visits the advertiser is going to buy. Therefore, at the end of the day, you might just end up with nothing. Therefore, in CPA (cost per action) the publishers are paid even more. Again, this is to be expected because the publisher doesn’t get paid till the conversion takes place.

Bottom Line

So that is it. Internet marketing is a natural progression of offline marketing only more suitable for the internet audience. When done right, internet marketing can be very sustainable and everyone emerges a winner. The publisher gets money, the advertiser gets sales and the visitors get value. This is the central theme of any marketing, including internet marketing.

Photo Credit: ScrewTape

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5 Worst Ways to Make Money Online

Worst Ways to Make Money Online

Beware of Online Scams

What are the worst ways to make money online? Actually there are plenty. It is not hard to make money online when you know what you are doing. However, the main problem is, many people who are new to this area are not sure how to go about it. Millions of people dream of making a living online but few accomplish it. Part of the reason is that they get caught up in these myriad different ways that promise to help them make money online but are little more than scams. As a beginner, it is very important to know the right approach and method that will make money for you. Do not make the mistakes of taking up one of these worst ways to make money online –

1. Paid to Click (PTC)

This is perhaps the worst way to make money online ever designed. The reason it is popular is because it requires absolutely no skill, no commitment, no investment, no risk taking and no real effort to learn. It is then not surprising that the returns are so low. The way PTC or paid to click works is that you need to click on an advertiser link and be on the page for 20-30 seconds, after which you will get anywhere from $0.001 to $0.01 per visit.

If this were a job, you would perhaps need to work 100 hours a day to feed your family. The amount of money that you can make is surprisingly small. The payouts are deliberately made to be high so that many people can drop out. Actually it isn’t that high – say $10 is the norm but then to reach $10 you need 1000 clicks, which is about 1000 minutes of your time, including the loading of the pages and everything else. That is about 16 hours of work for $10!

As you can see, all you need to do is just click on sites and visit advertisers. There is nothing else that you need to do. You don’t require any skill and there is nothing to work smart. They do have some incentives for referrals but that is a low and hard process in itself. Worse, many of them don’t even have Paypal payments but will instead pay you through AlertPay or Liberty Reserve which make it extremely hard to transfer even the $10 to your bank account.

What is surprising is that PTC is one of the worst ways to make money online, yet people flock to it very often, especially the beginners who know no better. I wish I could gather them all and teach them a thing or two about real ways to make money online!

2. Paid to Surf

Paid to surf is another pathetic way to try to make money online. There can be manual surfing or auto-surfing where you need to install a software. The reasons are similar to the ones given above – the amount of money you can potentially make is very less. Paid to surf pays less than paid to click, so you can imagine that you might need to spend an eternity doing nothing to get paid with these programs. It is not really a way to make money.

In rare cases, you might want to use paid to surf programs to drive traffic to your site (of course you must beware never to use programs like Google Adsense in these sites, otherwise you will be banned) for whatever reason. This traffic will almost never convert but you might want higher traffic stats for whatever reason. Even then, it is one of the worst ways to make money online.

3. Pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Schemes

These are nothing but scams. Pyramid schemes continue to flourish, especially on the internet in spite of their notoriety . I would say these are worse than the above two because at least in Paid to click and Paid to Surf, you don’t need to make any initial investment. In MLM marketing or Pyramid schemes, you are required to buy a worthless product and then promote it to your friends so they buy it and so on, and the people who join under bring you a commission.

There are very few genuine multi-level marketing programs but most on the internet are total scams. The products are inherently worthless and you are required to keep selling these worthless products to others. The point of pyramid schemes is that they are by design unsustainable and many people in the pyramid stand to lose a lot of money. The only people who really make money are people running it.

4. Online Data Entry Jobs

Don’t get me wrong, there are many genuine data entry jobs online, which is to be expected. However, most of the advertisements that you see require you to “buy” an initial package for say $49.95 only. This is ridiculous. If you really want genuine data entry jobs, try Elance or oDesk. These online data entry jobs will again need you to sell these packages to friends, which is kind of like a pyramid scheme again. Since these offer no real jobs and need you to pay upfront, these are one of the worst ways to make money online because it is totally misleading.

5. High Yield Investment Programs (HYIP)

These are classic Ponzi schemes. You would be surprised by the number of people who think they can get something out of nothing. All HYIPs are scams, without exception. If only people would think with a clear head before “investing” their money in these programs.

Anyway, the typical sales pitch for HYIPs is that they need to money to invest in some very technical and complicated investments or Forex trading. Then, they claim to give you extraordinary rates of interest. Many years ago, it was akin to “double your money in a month” but now it is more “believable” about 10-15% a month. Still, this is just a ponzi scheme and there are no investments that guarantee this return. After a saturation point is reached, the site will wrap up with all the money.

Bonus. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing microtasking platform where digital workers spend their time doing digital tasks … for a few pennies. Tasks typically take 10-15 minutes at least, and you’ll get paid about 10-15 cents on those on an average. You’d be lucky to make $1/hour, and $2/hour is probably the maximum anyone can make. As to why so many people actually work there, that has even baffled the experts who are actively researching this. Don’t become one of their subjects!

So these are some of the worst ways to make money online. If you are aware of other common newbie traps, do comment and let me know and I’ll include those in further posts.

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Why Geeks Make Money

Geek No, it doesn’t mean “Only Geeks can Make Money” but it means “Everyone Can Make Money”. It is not meant to belittle but encourage. The name of the site is inspired from a quote I remember from high school, “What one Fool can Do, Another Can“. This quote was used in “Calculus Made Easy” by Silvanus P. Thompson. Thompson made a brave attempt to teach Calculus to everyone and not have it confined to the Math majors at university. He wanted High School students to understand and appreciate the beauty of calculus. His way of motivating students was to use the above quote.

 

My aim, with this blog, is to tell you that it isn’t rocket science to make money online. There are plenty of people doing it, including me. I am here to teach you how this can be done, by one and all. You don’t need to have any special skill – just an open mind and a willingness to learn. Let me take you through this journey and lets work together towards the goal. After all, what one fool can do, another can 🙂

Photo Credit: jes5199

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SBOBet Review

This is a sponsored post by SBOBet

sbobet

SBOBet is one of the pioneers when it comes to online betting industry. Operating with license from Philippines and Isle of Man, this company is operated by Celton Manx Ltd. since 2004. Twelve years later, the company has successfully widened its base of operation to Asia through its various betting methods.

Website

The website comes with elegant blue design, which makes browsing the website comfortable. This experience is perfected by the website easy navigation. Furthermore, the website is also mobile ready, perfect for those who are mobile.

Market

SBObet offers more than 30 betting events. A sport betting is one of them. So, what’s special? Its betting odds. The company also applies betting risk system throughout its website and service to ensure its credibility.

Betting Odds

SBObet is based on risk bet, a recent betting trend in Far East. The company offers this betting type due to its low losing risk. This is possible because there are only 2 alternatives that can happen in a betting event. Risk bet also creates a balanced bet between the teams, while its value can be determined by the percentage of the betting amount.

Promotion

Besides its competitive odds, SBOBet also offers various bonuses and promotions. For example, the company offers welcome bonus to all new members as much as €250. Not too small, enough to make some bets. However, it’s very important to remember that new members will not be able to withdraw the money soon after the registration. SBOBet policy requires new members to win several bets before they can withdraw the bonus.

Payment method

SBOBet now supports various payment methods, including major debit and credit cards as well as online payment providers.

User oriented

For SBOBet, there is no better way to be the best online betting platform than giving ensuring their customer’s satisfaction. That’s why all the company’s services and features are optimized for this purpose.

Language and currency

As one of the best players in online betting industry, SBOBet proves itself worthy to be the best by providing supports over multi languages. The website now supports English, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnam, Chinese, Myanmar, German, Russia, Spanish, Japanese, Korea, and Thailand. And that’s not all. The company is planning to add more languages to its website so it can be fully accessible by anyone from around the world. The same thing also goes for the currency.

Customer support

The website’s customer support is available for everyone, providing the best and one of the fastest solution ever to those who seek.

Email

Any inquiry can be addressed to support@sbobet.com. Usually, it takes 1×24 hours for SBOBet to reply the inquiry.

Telephone and fax

In case user needs immediate response over the inquiry, he/she can contact the company directly at +44 1642721960 (Europe), +63 28563776 (Asia), or +63 27296516 (Asia). The fax line is also available at +44 1624721966 (Eropa) and +63 28563766 (Asia)

Skype

Another way to contact the company is through Skype. The company’s official Skype account is available at sbo-css.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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How to Make Money with ICONOMI ICO

iconomi

This is a risky investment. You could lose money, and there is no guarantee of investment returns. This should not be construed as professional investment advice. Don’t invest more than you can lose. 

Today, I want to discuss a new investment with you, my readers. This is in the cryptocurrency space. This is a significantly high risk-high return opportunity that isn’t suitable for everyone. It is higher risk than what you’re used to with stocks and even options, but a correspondingly higher payoff probability.

ICONOMI is the hottest new ICO in town. For those who are unaware, an ICO, or an Initial Coin Offering is the process by which new projects in the crypto space bootstrap with investor money, by selling access tokens to their network to investors. The money is then used to build the promised project by hiring developers, marketing, and business development people. If the network becomes more valuable in time, you profit with that. If it becomes less valuable, you lose along with the network. It has a symmetric loss/gain profile, but of course the loss is capped at 100%. There is no cap on the gains. Therefore it is an asymmetric risk/return profile.

So today, I want to discuss ICONOMI ICO. You can invest in this via US Dollar, Euros, or even cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Most projects in the crypto space are funded via Bitcoin (BTC) because they are promoted by and to the people in the crypto space. But not ICONOMI. They have raised over 25% in regular currencies of EUR and USD, and the rest via cryptocurrencies.

So why should you consider investing in this project? Because of the potential payouts. It is a decentralized fund management system, which has both index-like and hedge fund like assets. Other investors can passively or actively invest in these funds and gain exposure to cryptocurrencies as an asset class. And here’s the kicker – the more other people buy these funds, the more you, as an investor in ICONOMI will get paid. The services are sticky. The fees are recurring and yearly. The dividends are weekly. It is an ideal investment vehicle if you think the broader cryptocurrency world will gain in popularity with the more mainstream investors.

If you want to look at a typical use case, think of it this way – say you’re someone who has no idea about cryptocurrencies in general and don’t want to go around managing private keys and downloading software and wallets. It is a high barrier to entry. But you don’t mind investing say 1% of your wealth in cryptocurrencies. Today, there is no way to do this. However, with ICONOMI, you can. That’s the big value proposition.

So think about this investment. Remember, high risk, high return potential. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Here’s the ICO link again.

Photo Credit: Flickr

ICONGQhRKDeLWLfllcoWxakgoAPHGCeEGXbICONOMI

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Tips for New Online Players

Tips for New Online Players

For most casino enthusiasts, playing online is easier and more convenient than visiting a land-based casino. If you have been playing online for a while now, you will know that online gambling can be extremely fun and rewarding. But for those players just starting out, it can be difficult to decide who to sign up with and what to watch out for. We are going to take a look at a few tips that will help you get the most out of your online experience.

Where you Should Start

If you have made the decision to play online, the first thing you need to do is sign up with a reputable online casino. If you do a quick web search you will find that there are dozens of sites to choose from, all promising the biggest bonuses and cash rewards. Before you make any decisions, it is best to check out the casino credentials. All top-rated online casinos are fully licenced by entities such as the Malta Gaming Authority, with the licensing information freely available on their website. If you cannot find any info on the licensing, its best to move on.

The second thing you need to look out for is a site that is user friendly and offers multi-platform access. This means that you can access and play casino games instantly online, by downloading the software or on your smartphone/tablet. The site itself should be easy to navigate with easy links to the games list, banking options and casino bonuses.

Going Local

One mistake many players make is to sign up with a foreign casino that doesn’t accept their currency. Always ensure that your chosen casino is 100% local, or accepts dollars, pounds, euros, or whatever you use locally. This will save you paying unwanted conversion fees.

If we look at banking options, you want to find a site that offers instant secure banking options including credit card payments, debit card payments, bank transfers and web-wallet payments. Take the time to view their payout policy and times.

Security is a big issue with online gambling. You want to make sure that the casino you sign up with is running state of the art encryption technology to protect your personal and financial information. You will also want to find a site that is committed to fair and accurate gaming. Take the time to find out if the site has an independent auditor that does regular audits on the random number generator.

Casino Games and Casino Bonuses

One area which most players tend to forget about is the number of games available at the casino. Even if you are only planning on playing the games of Blackjack Canada casinos have to offer, or Roulette at UK facing sites, it is best to sign up with a casino that offers a wide range games including slots, table games and instant win games. The wider the game range, the bigger the casino,and the more stable the site will be.

Finally, after checking off everything on your list, you can look at what types of bonuses are on offer. This should never be the first criteria when signing up. Once you are satisfied that you have found a reputable site with excellent banking facilities, a wide range of games and top-rated security, you can look at what bonuses will best suit your needs. A good place to start is a casino that offers 100% cash match welcome bonuses, along with weekly and monthly casino promotions.

Now you know what to look for, you can get playing!

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